Home Theater

Editor’s Picks: 12 Best Products of 2014

From Dolby Atmos to 4K, automated lighting to digital amps, CE Pro senior editor Robert Archer shares his best products of 2014 in the custom install market.

See which products topped the list for the past 12 months.

Photos & Slideshow

Robert Archer · December 4, 2014

Looking back on what has transpired over the course of this year, it’s impossible to think that anyone could have foreseen how important 2014 turned out to be in terms of the evolution of the custom install market.

Proving to be a watershed moment for the industry, 2014 delivered some of the best products solutions to hit the market in several years. Driven by new technologies such as Dolby’s Atmos format and, to a lesser extent, Auro Technologies’ Auro-3D format, as well as the app-based programming approach that industry pillars Lutron and Crestron have introduced, this year will some day be looked back on with much reverence by installers.

Looking ahead, 2015 is setting up to be a banner year. Building off the foundation that products like Onkyo’s TX-NR636, Atlantic Tech’s Dolby Modules, Crestron’s Pyng system, DP’s Insight 4K and Lutron’s Caseta line have established, the next 12 months are shaping up to be one of the most exciting periods in the custom install market since before the recession of 2008.

I expect new product releases, including new amps from Harman’s Mark Levinson and JBL Synthesis brands, as well as new speaker companies such as Origin Acoustics and Beale Street Audio; switching solutions from HDAnywhere and wireless audio solutions from Definitive Technology to emerge as some of the top of next year’s product class.

Before saying goodbye to 2014, let’s take one last look at what I thought were the best products of the past year.

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  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at robert.archer@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics

Home Theater · Displays · Speakers · Amplifiers · Control & Automation · Lighting · News · Media · Slideshow · 4K · Atlantic Technology · Atlona · Digital Projection · Dolby Atmos · Lutron · All Topics
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